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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Noínden Ulaid

Ailiter: Machae dano ben Chruind meic Agnoman doriacht and do comrith fri heacha Concobair, ar atbert an fer ba luaithiu a bean. Amlaid dano bói in ben, is hi inbadhach, cor chuinnigh cairde coro thoed a brú, ocus ni tucad di, ocus dognith in comrith iarum, ocus ba luaithem si, ocus o ro siacht (cenn) in céiti beridh mac ocus ingen - Fir ocus Fial a n-anmand - ocus atbert co mbedis Ulaid fo ceis óited in cach uair dus-ficfad eicin. Conid de bái in cess for Ulltaib fri re nomaide o flaith Concobair co flaith Mail meic Rochraidhe, ocus atberet ba hí sin Grian Banchure ingen Midir Brí Léith, ocus atbeb iar suidhiu, ocus focresa a fert i nArd Machae ocus focer a guba ocus roclannuadh a líae. Unde Ard Macha
  - Prose Dindshenchas

 Furthermore: Macha, moreover, wife of Chruind son of Agnoman who arrived there to race against the horses of Concobar, because her husband had said his wife is quicker. Thus moreover was the woman, she is due for delivery, she seeks a surety compact* to bring forth her womb, and none is given, and she is brought to race therefore, and she is the quicker, and when she reaches the (head of) the assembly she bears a son and a daughter - Fir [True] and Fial [Honorable] were their names - and she said that the Ulaid would be under a complaint of youth in each when their enemies compelled them. Therefore was this debility on the Ulaid for nine days and nine nights  from the rule of Concobar to the rule of Mail son of Rochraidhe, and it is said she was Grian Banchure [Sun of Womanhood] daughter of Midir of [the sí of] Brí Léith, and she died then after that and they put her burial mound in Ard Macha and performed her mourning lament and placed her stone. Whence Ard Macha [Macha's Height].


*cor chuinnigh cairde might possibly also be read as "she seeks a heart friendship" or something similar. The words can mean both a legal respite or mercy, and should perhaps be understood as both. 

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